Dream 500 Million Smartphones in India is the first in a series of thought leadership conclaves organized by BGR India. It is a vision of an India where people are well informed and well connected. To achieve this dream, stakeholders like handset manufacturers, carriers, government, apps and service providers, need to align towards a common goal. Also Read - Xiaomi might have a new Snapdragon 888 phone up its sleeve, to be Mi 11T
To bring synergy into this effort, BGR India has conceptualized this thought leadership conclave to bring the entire fraternity on a single platform. The day-long event will witness stakeholders from the industry share their views and commitments to achieving this dream. What will it take to reach the 500 million smartphone user base in India, what will be its implications, what services can we expect first-time smartphone users to experience and most importantly, by when can we achieve this milestone. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2 Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Edition showcased in India
Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s VP – International, will be a lead speaker at the conference. BGR India spoke to Barra on his views about the dream and its significance for India. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi 10i gets discounted by Rs 1,500 on Amazon India: Check the deal
What is possible when India has 500 million smartphone users?
At 500 million smartphone users, India will become the world’s second largest Internet-connected population, closely trailing China. At such a massive scale, India will have its own autonomous application and services ecosystem, mostly built by local developers and startups. Many local startups who may already exist today will reach critical mass and become major Internet platforms and service providers. This will enable a wave of localized software innovation at all levels, from OS layer to services to standalone apps.
According to you, what is required to achieve this dream — what are the challenges and opportunities?
To reach 500 million smartphone users in a reasonable timeframe, India will need to build its own local smartphone ecosystem, from semiconductors to hardware suppliers to software developers across the entire chain. Global leaders will inevitably have to set up substantial local engineering operations (including manufacturing) and India’s most successful business groups will make substantial investments and enter various segments directly or indirectly related to smartphones and the mobile Internet, aided by robust government incentives.
An important driver for this growth is talent development, which will require significant investments in education and a concerted effort to attract highly well educated Indians from around the world back to India.
What is the role that Xiaomi wants to play in India towards this milestone?
India is thriving. It is a country that presents so many possibilities, and where local innovation is picking up very quickly. The startup scene is growing rapidly and venture capitalists are starting to take note of the immense potential in the country. Xiaomi wants to be an important player in this process as a hardware and software technology vendor, as an Internet services provider, as an e-commerce business, and as a major investor in the local startup ecosystem. The Mi India team is excited to be part of this journey which is set to transform the country.
Hugo Barra is speaking at Dream 500 Million Smartphones in India, a thought leadership conclave on December 17, 2014 in New Delhi, organized by BGR India.